Chinese Ambassador to the United States Yang Jiechi has expressed his hope that the Sino-U.S. relationship would be able to move forward from the EP-3 incident given important progress that has been made toward its eventual solution.
Ambassador Yang, in a speech Tuesday at a conference in Washington sponsored by the Chicago Council on Foreign Relations, said it is imperative now to approach Sino-American relations "with a sense of mission and vision" and "pluck up our courage and go forward” despite differences between the two countries.
"There are always problems and differences between us... And one has to rise high to see the commonality of interests between our two peoples and two countries, and to understand that we have to adhere to what we have agreed among ourselves, that is, the three joint communiques, (and) the one-China policy," he said.
Yang noted that quite a few problems have cropped up so far this year in Sino-U.S. relations, referring to the collision of U. S. scout plane EP-3 with a Chinese fighter over the South China Sea and the U.S. sale of arms to Taiwan.
Therefore, he said, "it is even more important for those who have this relationship in their hearts to exert their efforts and to mobilize the general public to go forward."
He called for "better communication" and "more exchanges" at this particular moment at non-governmental level to help promote the steady and healthy development of bilateral relations in the 21st century.
"The 21st century is the most challenging and promising century for mankind. And the same can be said about our relationship. We need to work together," Yang said.
The ambassador said China and the United States have to show respect to each other and let the people of each country decide their course, since the two are quite different countries, each having its own history and culture.
On the Taiwan issue, the core issue in bilateral relations, Yang reiterated the need to observe the principles agreed upon in the three China-U.S. joint communiques.
"What is important is mutual respect for sovereignty and territorial integrity, and non-interference in each other’s internal affairs," Yang said. "I hope the Taiwan issue can be handled properly so that it will not upset the relationship."
Yang said that the reunification of China "would be in the interest of the United States" because it would bring about extended exchanges and cooperation between the United States on the one side, and the Chinese mainland and Taiwan on the other.